By LYNDSAY MACH, NEWS3 Reporter
MACOMB, Illinois (NEWS3) – The LGBTQA Resource Center at Western Illinois University is hosting Pride Month in April this year. Typically the center holds a Pride Week in April, but this year they decided to make it a month.
“Our identity is worth more than just a week out of the school year,” graduate assistant Kairo Scott said. “I think, additionally, the fact that during June no one is really in session, so it allows us to celebrate Pride Month while students are actually on campus.”
The center has initiatives year round for students. There are student organizations such as Unity, Lambda Lavender Honor Society and Afrocentric Queers. They also have a partnership with GC2B binder to provide free chest binders to the WIU community, safe space training, gender neutral restrooms and a gender affirming closet.
“They can just come and look at clothes and take whichever ones they feel affirm their gender identity,” Scott said.
This April they have added in more events to help celebrate Pride Month. The events to be held are Gaymer Night from 7-9:30 p.m. April 9, (Bi)ce Cream Social and Pan Pizza Palooza from 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. April 12, Drag 101 from 5-7:30 p.m. April 14, Social Justice Through Music: A Support Group from 5:30-7 p.m. April 19, Safe Space Training from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and 2:30-4:30 p.m. on April 20t, Living in Color from 6-8 p.m. April 21, NOH8 photo shoot from noon-3 p.m. on April 22, Pride Flag Canvas Painting from 3-5 p.m. April 26, Pride Month Keynote Speaker Bri Sérráno from 6-7 p.m. April 27, Prideful Relaxation from 5:30-6:30 p.m. April 29 and Lavender Graduation from 6-8 p.m. April 30.
“As queer students, we often have to put part of our identities aside, especially if we don’t have the same name as our legal name, we use a different name, so you can graduate with us,” graduate assistant Sarah Daniels said.
You can sign up for the Lavender Graduation on Purple Post. For more information, go online to http://www.wiu.edu/student_services/mcc/lgbtqa/index.php.